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Do you have superstitious behavior like wearing a lucky shirt or lucky socks? Dogs can have superstitious behaviors too, and often, we contribute! We don’t want inadvertent or cheap behaviors to become part of what our dogs learn, so I’m covering what to look for and what you can do to avoid reinforcing superstition unintentionally. We’re also looking at why you need to beware of the killer bees in dog training!

In the episode you’ll hear:
• How B. F. Skinner described superstitious behavior back in the 1940’s when working with pigeons.
• That my mentor Bob Bailey used the term cheap behavior and what that looks like for dogs.
• How my husband, John, had a superstitious behaviour at traffic lights.
• The ways dogs can develop superstitious behaviors in daily life and dog sports.
• How cheap behaviors like vocalizing, pawing, spinning, foot paddling, nipping, and the killer bees like biting, bopping, bouncing, boxing and more can be built into our training or routines.
• About preventing cheap behavior or superstition in your dog training and why to look at reinforcement.
• That reinforcement can be more complex than what you think you are rewarding.
• How some behaviors can be because the dog is overwhelmed or over faced in training and why to look at your dog’s success percentage.
• Why to work out your dog’s rate of reinforcement and how that can vary depending on what you are training.
• About the importance of a training plan that will set you and your dog up for success.
• How to help your dog with something like barking in the crate if that is superstitious.

Resources:
1. Podcast Episode 141: Average Or Better Dog Training Question: What Did You Just Reward? – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/141/
2. Podcast Episode 2: Reinforcement – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/2/
3. Podcast Episode 125: Why Isn’t My Dog Learning What I’m Training? – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/125/
4. Podcast Episode 139: Remove Confusion And Build Your Dog’s Confidence With One Simple Dog Training Habit – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/139/
5. Podcast Episode 21: The 5 Critical Dog Training Layers for Confidence with Anything – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/21/
6. Podcast Episode 98: Puppy Home Alone: Are You Creating Chaos or Calm? – https://dogsthat.com/podcast/98/

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Dogs That is brought to you by Susan Garrett and the Say Yes Dog Training Team.

Susan Garrett’s interest in animal behaviour started at the University of Guelph where she earned a Bachelor of Science majoring in Animal Science. Since then she has developed into a preeminent dog trainer and canine sports instructor and competitor. Susan is one of the most successful agility competitors of the last three decades. She has won multiple Gold Medals at National or World Championship events with every dog she has ever owned over the past 30 years.

A natural teacher and an entertaining speaker, Susan is world renowned as a leading educator of dog trainers. Her understanding of how to apply science-based learning principles to both competitive and family pet dog training has been pivotal in changing how dogs are trained.

Susan is now helping many thousands of dog owners in 132 countries have the best relationship possible with their dogs. The real joy for her comes from bringing confidence to dogs and their owner through playful interactions and relationship building games that are grounded firmly in the science of how animals learn.
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